New York: India is open for business and the top priority for his government was reforms in governance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a group of more than 40 top executives of America over a sumptuous organic dinner that included few traditional dishes – signalling a new India.
The talk was coordinated by the Fortune magazine and it was attended by the executives of Fortune 500 companies.
Calling the gathering “The $4.5 trillion club!”, the ministry of external affairs tweeted:
“Reform in governance is my Number One priority. We are for simplified procedures, speedy decision making, transparency & accountability,” PM Modi told them. “Foreign Direct Investment all over the world has fallen, but in India it increased by 40 per cent. This reflects confidence in the Indian economy.”
India, the Prime Minister said, was ready to welcome US Enterprises with open arms and it was the right time for them to come and invest in the world’s largest democratic country. The session was moderated by Fortune Editor Alan Murray.
Among those present were Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Marillyn Hewson, Ford President and CEO Mark Fields, IBM Chairman Ginni Rometty and Pepsi co chief Indra Nooyi.
Citigroup chairman Michael O’Neill, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, Boeing International President Marc Allen, Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn, Blackstone President Hamilton James, SanDisk co-founder Sanjay Mehrotra, Harman International Chairman Dinesh Palatal and Time Inc CEO Joe Ripp were also present on the occasion.
Four-time Michelin-starred Chef Vikas Khanna prepared meal that included sandalwood saffron sherbet, pomegranate pangria with tandoori pineapple, paneer ravioli, thandai chicken, Mizoram black rice khichdi, saffron sheermal, mango-ginger soup and coconut rice crème brulee.
This was the Prime Minister’s last engagement in a day that had been spent promoting Brand India. It had started with a meeting with nine chosen CEOs from financial sector where he made a strong investment pitch. Later he had one-on-one meetings with several top executives.